Club Focus – Newcastle – Carroll unlikely to feature against Arsenal, but Vuckic is focused

Newcastle striker Andy Carroll will be available for their upcoming games after his court case ended on Monday. The 21 year old was ordered to pay over £3,000 but will not be spending any time in prison. Carroll admitted a lesser charge of assault by beating after originally being charged with assault causing actual bodily harm. He revealed that he had accidentally glassed Michael Cook in a city centre nightclub.

The result will be a relief for both the player and the club who can now focus on two big games coming up this week. Chris Hughton is hoping that Carroll will learn from his problems after a series of off-the-field incidents putting Newcastle’s name in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Hughton said: “He has to learn lessons. He’s a young man, but he has to realise he has a responsibility – first and foremost to himself, but also to a lot of other people. He is a player that’s very much in the limelight and we hope he continues to be in the limelight, but for what he does on the football pitch. Anything outside of that, of course, has an impact.

Carroll is unlikely to be involved in his side’s mid-week match with Arsenal as he will rested ahead of the derby game with Sunderland at the weekend. Instead Hughton is likely to revert to the side that has performed well in the League Cup so far this season. The teamsheet has largely been made up of players on the fringe of the first XI and a number of promising youngsters. After their heroic 4-3 win over Chelsea in the last round, Newcastle’s second team deserve another chance to make their mark at the fourth round stage. Opponents Arsenal are one of the few big names left in the competition and opted to play a strong team in the previous cup tie against Tottenham. Veteran central defender Sol Campbell is a doubt to face his former club while the game comes too early for Steven Taylor, who has just returned to training following a shoulder injury. The likes of Ryan Taylor, Alan Smith and Peter Lovenkrands are all set to feature at St James’ Park.

One of the young players likely to start against the Gunners is Slovenian Haris Vuckic who has featured in both of Newcastle’s League Cup outings. He will get another chance to impress his manager tonight against a number of other exciting midfield prospects in the opposition’s line-up. So far he has impressed in the cup but still remains some way off a place in the first team. He has also caught the eye of a number of Europe’s top clubs but for now remains committed to the Magpies. Speaking in the build up to the game he said: “I did not know too much about interest from AC Milan or Real Madrid until I read about it in the papers back home. It is good to know when you work hard and you get results as a young player that Man United or Real Madrid might be watching you tells you, you are doing the right things. However, it will not disturb me. I am only thinking about Newcastle in the future.

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